Journey To A Family - Chapter 5 - Labour

 If your have not read the previous posts in this series you can read them here:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

The months, weeks and days had flown by and my due date came and went - and I waited and waited some more to finally meet our precious miracle!

I was getting VERY impatient by Day 4 of being overdue - I visited my obstetrician that day (a Thursday) and he checked me to see how things were going. I was still 2.5 - 3cm dilated which I had been for over 10 days now. He said things were looking good and my body was ready. "It could happen anytime in the next 48 hours"! However he still wanted me to be booked in to be induced the next day as he would not be on call over the coming weekend. I was very hesitant to be induced because I wanted to go naturally and since he said I was already to go I pushed the inducement off until the coming Monday morning. I hoped that I would go into the labour the next day so that he could deliver our baby - well that's what we had payed him for wasn't it!

Anyway we left the office and I started getting a few cramps from the internal examination that he had given me. I thought maybe things were finally "happening" and getting under way. I closely monitored them over the next few hours but instead of getting stronger they slowly petered off to nothing. Hubby had gone to play squash that afternoon and had his mobile close by incase thing started getting serious. He didn't have to worry though. We had an early night hoping to be woken up with some contractions. No such luck there. 

I woke up the next morning much earlier than usual and went to the toilet. As I got up to wash my hands I felt a "slimy" feeling down below. I had lost my mucous plug! It was gross to say the least. I jumped around in excitment. Finally a sign of things to come. There was no way I could go back to sleep after that so I had breakfast with hubby which I hadn't done in a long time. I normally slept in - wish I did looking back now! lol

After breakfast I organised a walk with my sister to hopefully get things moving and off we went.She is 9 weeks behind me in her prgnancy so it was a little funny two heavily pregnant ladies waddling along the footpath I'm sure. I had no pain or cramping at all during the whole day. I thought it would be days again before anything else presented itself. That night we made homemade pizza's and I dropped my whole pizza face down on the floor because I was so tired - I was not an impressed pregnant lady. I packed it in early that night because I was just so exhausted. I tucked myself into bed at 8.30pm, while hubby continued to watch TV. That night I went to bed a bit frustrated and disappointed that we wouldn't meet our baby that night.

Just as I was dozing off - BAM a contraction hit quite hard. My eyes popped open and I grimaced through it - I thought "wow these contractions aren't so fun and it's only the beginning". I picked up my phone and looked at the time 9.03pm. Great! I thought. No sleep for me tonight. I tried to doze back to sleep and BAM another contraction hit - I picked up my phone again and looked at the time 9.10pm. I continued doing this over the next 30 minutes. My contractions were about 7 -10 minutes apart. I hadn't told hubby yet because I wanted to make sure they were regular and the real thing. So at 9.30pm I went to the toilet and hubby was making his way to bed - I calmly told him that I didn't think we would be getting any sleep tonight - we would be meeting our baby tomorrow sometime!

I'm not sure if he quite believed me at first and asked if I had been having contractions. I told him they were about 7-10 minutes apart at the moment but thought that they could slow down or stop since they seemed too regular at the moment. So we both went to bed and tried to get some sleep. That was a joke! My contractions continued to come and I continued to try and doze between them. Somewhere around 10.45pm - 11pm I got out of our bed and went into the spare bedroom to let hubby have some sleep.

 The contractions were getting harder to get through lying down but I persevered in the spare bedroom until about midnight. I downloaded a contraction app on my phone which helped me time of my contractions length and time between contractions. It was the best thing ever - it kinda helped me keep focus the whole time I laboured at home. I think my contractions were about 5-7 minutes lasting about 30 seconds when I got out of the spare bedroom. I knew they weren't going to go away and needed a better place to get through them. Lying down wasn't working anymore. So I went into the lounge room and started bouncing and rotating my pelvis on the fit ball. I also got a heat pack onto my belly which helped so much. I turned the TV on for a bit of company and background noise. I decided not to wake hubby up because I knew I would need him later in the night and I was coping fine by myself at this point. 

I continued timing the contractions with my phone, bouncing on the ball and using the heat pack until about 12.45am when my contractions started getting about 4-5 minutes apart and lasting 45-50 seconds. I was able to breathe through them and lean on the couch when the really bad ones come along. I decided I would ring the hospital to see what I should do next as I wondered if it would be a while before we had to go in. I talked to a midwife on the phone and she said I was doing well laboring at home and to leave it another 30 minutes and give them another call then. I continued doing this and decided to get Bevan up at about 1.15am and let him know we might be going into hospital soon. He got up and munched on some toast while I continued to labour in the lounge room. My contractions started getting a little more intense and about 3-4 minutes apart. I knew we had to go in and rang the hospital to let them know we were getting ready to come in. This was about 1.30am.

 I finished putting the last few items in my bags - in between contractions so it took a little longer than normal! Lol. I was trying to put my runners on in the garage on the back steps and I think it took me two contractions to get them on in the end - leaning over the step during the contractions. I think bevan was getting a little worried at this point. We piled our bags into the car and I crawled into the back seat of the car on all fours. I knew I would be having a few contractions on the way and there was no way I could get through them sitting down. So there I was on all fours groaning and breathing through the contractions as we drove through the quiet streets of Toowoomba. 

Bevan was very calm driving to the hospital and helped me out of the car once we arrived. We went through the emergency exit of the hospital and got checked in there. The annoying thing was the receptionist kept asking me so many questions and I kept having contractions and couldn't answer her. It was quite funny now but at the time all I wanted to do was get to the labour suit. Not tell her my name and date of birth. We finally got ushered to the labour suite with a few stops along the way for a "breather"(i.e contraction). I was so relieved we finally  made it to the labour suite. There was no one else labouring so I had the whole ward to myself. I got a room with a bath and shower which I thought I was going to use... yeah right!

I got up onto the bed and got a baby monitor strapped to my stomach to check bub was going ok. He was going swimmingly through each contraction. The midwife then gave me an internal to check to see how far dilated I was. I was hoping to be at least 6cm but to my utter surprise she said I was 7-8 cm already. This was about 2am. I kept asking her if she was right - she said we would be meeting our baby in the next few hours. Wow I couldn't believe it. I was expecting to be labouring through the morning and into the afternoon with all the stories that I had heard.

Since my waters had not yet broken the midwife broke them for me. Not a pleasant experience to say the least but it got it over and done with quickly. After that I got onto a bean bag on the hospital bed and continued to labour for about 45-60 minutes this is when the contractions started getting REALLY intense. I tried using the gas through them but it made me feel weird and like I could say some really stupid things. I had told the nurses earlier on that I might consider an epidural but wanted to see how things went. After 60 minutes of INTENSE contractions I was asking for the epidural.... ASAP! lol. I was starting to get louder and LOUDER with my groaning and yelling and I was a little embarrased after each contraction was over. The nurse kept asking me if I felt like I was going to poo - NO I didn't feel like pooing and I was not ready to push this baby out! Thankfully they didn't tell me I was too far along and called the anaesthetist. I do feel a bit bad for whimping out but I remember a friend of mine saying "Get the drugs Mel" and that is what was repeating over and over in my head through each contraction. LOL.

I can't say getting the epidural through intense contractions was the most wonderful experiences of my life...... it was terrible. Being curled up on your side in a foetal position trying not to yell through each contraction. I think this lasted for about 4-5 contractions as he was having trouble getting the needle in my back. In the end he ended up giving me a spinal block which would last about 1 hour - enough time for a rest and to deliver!

So after the spinal block kicked in I was able to relax and have a rest. Bevan said I turned into a whole new person in about 5 minutes. From a groaning and moaning women to one that was smiling and talking to him. LOL. Bevan managed to have a nap in the lounges provided and I tried to sleep but couldn't stop shaking from the spinal block drugs.. At about 5am the nurse called the obstetrician on call to make his way in as I would be starting to push now. I dosed up on some red lollies and red power aide to give me a bit of energy to push. I had been up for nearly 24 hours without sleep by now and I was feeling pretty seedy and exhausted. I started pushing at 5am, my spinal block was still quite strong so I had not idea where I was pushing or what I was meant to be doing. I threw up for the first time as I started pushing - up come the red lollies and poweraide! I don't think I will be drinking poweraide again anytime soon!

It was a little frustrating at first because I had no sensation down there and the midwife was no help in coaching me. I kept asking her if I was pushing in the right place and after each contraction if I had made any headway...... no answer! Hmmmm. Anyway I continue pushing and changing positions on the bed from lying on my back to my side to leaning forward on a railing at the end of the bed. By 5.30am my legs started getting a bit more sensation back into them and I was able to push much more effectively. I asked for a mirror so I could watch the head crowning but to my disappointment the nurses reply was "Oh we do have one of those somewhere round here but I don't know where it is" and continued on telling me to push. I think she just wanted me to get this over and done with so she could go home. I didn't realise that I had the head nearly crowning until bevan told me and took a picture for me to see - since I couldn't get my mirror I asked for!

 It was 5.45am and still no sign of the obstetrician making his way into the room. The nurses went and called him again and he had just decided to take a shower so who knows how much longer he would be. So we continued pushing and changing postions to deliver this baby. The baby's head was crowning by now and the nurse advised me I was going to tear. She could either give me an episetomy or let me tear - I didn't want either so I asked if she could coach me through pushing in hope of stretching the area slowly without tearing. She tried to stretch the opening but without success - she said I was lucky to be numb when she was trying to stretch the area as it wouldn't of being a fun expeience. Yay good call on the spinal block. With no luck stretching the area I gave consent to a episetomy, much to my disappointment. Still no sign of the obstetrician.

With one last final push our precious little man entered the world at 6.08am after 9 hours of labour, weighing in at 7 pounds 12 ounces, 51cm long on the 25th of August 2012. I couldn't believe it I had delivered my baby and it was a precious boy! He had the cord wrapped around his body and neck so they cut it before placing him straight onto my chest. He made a few grumbling noises and after a few seconds a cry. He was perfect - but a bit slimy and covered in blood. Lol. After they gave him a bit of a wipe over we had some skin to skin time and our first feed. It was a very special and precious moment. I couldn't believe after 4 1/2 years of trying for this baby we finally had him in our arms. 

While I was having skin to skin time I delivered the placenta and the Obstetrician finally entered the building. Much to his chagrin though he was not impressed with the nurses episetomy efforts and told me he would be talking to her later about it after he stitched me up! Great - what was I suppose to think of what she did to my now messed up downstairs area! I tried not to dwell on it but was a already upset with having to have an episeotomy and then be told by the obstetrician he wasn't happy with it made me very upset. I tried to focus on our precious son and be happy that he made it safely into this world. 

While bevan was having some bonding time I managed to have a shower - all the while vomitting away while I was sitting on the shower chair. Not fun. I think it was a culmination of exhaustion, tiredness and the drugs from the spinal block. I felt awful and after my shower I tried to eat some plain toast and tea. I could barely keep my eyes open at this point and thankfull they let me rest for a while before bringing me back to my room in the maternity unit. It was how I expected to end the birth of our son but I guess people don't tell you how you feel after delivering. I never got the "adrenaline" rush and the wonderful "high" feeling after delivering! I just wanted to sleep and stop throwing up.

First cuddles with dad!

I managed to crawl into bed in my hospital room in hope of a few good hours of sleep. I still couldn't stop shaking, which  made it very difficult to sleep. J.D was wheeled in beside me in his little crib and he was wide awake ready to take on the world. Bevan was also dead on his feet but wanted to make sure I was alright and bub was asleep before he left us for a few hours sleep of his own. Well bub never settled and I eventually told bevan to go and get some sleep and I would try and deal with this baby who I knew nothing about looking after. It was a bit of a a shock to the system to say the least. I felt very overwhelmed and a little bit panicky because I didn't know what to do with this baby and I felt so ill and exhausted on top of it. I tried the best I could but in the end I buzzed the nurses and asked if they could look after him in the nursery for a little while for me to get a bit of rest. I was desparate at this point and didn't know what else to do.

First Baths
Snuggles in hospital
Leaving hospital!

They took him away and I managed to get a hour or so rest before they wheeled him back in. I was horrified they hadn't let me sleep for a few hours! Lol. Oh well life as a mum had begun. We stumbled our way through the first days as new parents in hospital and finally we were able to go home. I was DESPARATE by the end of the 4 day stay to go home. I was so sick of being cooped up in the ward with no fresh air or sunshine. The first time I stepped out of the hospital doors into the fresh and and sunshine with my precious son in my arms was something I will always remember as a special memory. We had a few days at home before trouble hit.

The stitches on my episeotomy came totally undone. Not good. I had to call our obstetrician on a friday night nearly in tears explaining what had happened. He advised me to come into the office the next morning to get checked up on. I stupidly thought he would just re-stitch me up in the surgery there and off I go again. Wishful thinking I think! When he checked me he told me I would have to be re-admitted into hospital and go back into theatre for re-stitiching along with a 2 day course of IV antibiotics. GREAT! I was NOT impressed to say the least. I was so upset that this had happened and blamed the midwife for even doing it way back in delivery. We rushed home to pack for the stay and presented ourselves to the hospital. I had to be hooked up to an IV for the day and night and pumped full of antibiotics every 3 hours even during the night. This made looking after a newborn baby VERY difficult and I was getting crankier and more depressed by the hour having to be back in the stuffy hospital room and not getting a lot of sleep.  The next day I was wheeled into theatre to be re-stitched. 

To top the day off I meet a male nurse whom I went to school with who would be assisting in my procedure.... How embarrasing and awkward! Thankfully the procedure went well and I was wheeled into recovery.... I woke up at 3pm and my heart dropped! It was feed time for poor J.D and I knew I would be in recovery for at least another 30 min. I begged the nurses to go back to the ward early because I had a newborn baby to feed. Thankfully they honored my request and wheeled me back quick smart and before I even reached the corridor where my room was situated I could him screaming his little head off. Bevan was most distressed by now trying to deal with a baby who he couldn't help. As soon as J.D was attached he was as happy as can be! Phew. Crisis diverted.

Thankfully we were able to leave the hospital the next day .... and haven't been back! :-)

Motherhood has been a steep learning curve and when I think I've got a handle on things he changes and makes me scratch  my head again! hahah. I love being a mum though and wouldn't give it up for the world. I am so blessed to have this precious little boy in our lives - even if he does test my patience some days.

As I am writing this he is whingeing in the background when he should be in the middle of a sleep - ah the joys!!

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